QUES­TIONS TO ASK YOUR MEN­TOR

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how to make the most out of a ca­reer-defin­ing re­la­tion­ship

Sure, you’re well aware your new men­tor is a Big Deal, and that their time is pre­cious – so don’t waste the op­por­tu­nity. In ad­di­tion to get­ting their ad­vice about your own ca­reer, here are some ab­so­lute musts to ask them:

WHAT DOES A DAY IN YOUR LIFE LOOK LIKE?

Know­ing the nitty-gritty of what your men­tor does gives a more rounded idea of life in their shoes – not just the re­al­ity of their nine-to-five ex­is­tence, but what you should ex­pect from the roles and life­style that you might one day hope to step into.

WHAT GOALS HAVE YOU SET AND HOW ARE YOU WORK­ING TO REACH THEM?

As some­one who’s suc­cess­ful and done the work to achieve some of their pro­fes­sional aims, who bet­ter to ask about kick­ing ca­reer and life goals?

WHAT’S YOUR MOST EF­FEC­TIVE DAILY HABIT?

You never know what lit­tle tid­bit you might pick up.

WHAT ARE YOU BEST AT AND HOW DID YOU BE­COME COM­PE­TENT IN THIS AREA?

There’s a rea­son this per­son has reached a high enough level for you to ask them to be­come your men­tor – what is it about them that helps them suc­ceed? And how can you de­velop these skills for your­self?

WHAT WERE SOME OF YOUR FOR­MER WEAK­NESSES? HOW DID YOU OVER­COME THEM?

This question won’t only act as a way of strength­en­ing any sim­i­lar weak­nesses you see in your­self, it also tells you whether your men­tor is an open and can­did per­son, will­ing to re­veal and share both the pos­i­tives and neg­a­tives of life ex­pe­ri­ence.

WHAT ARE SOME LESSONS YOU’VE HAD TO LEARN THE HARD WAY?

Nip fu­ture mis­takes in the bud with this question – and get an in­sight into how oth­ers turn a per­ceived fail­ure into a jump­ing-off point for growth.

WHAT POS­I­TIVE THING DO YOU SEE IN ME THAT I NEED TO FO­CUS ON DE­VEL­OP­ING?

You’re ask­ing for them to as­sess your strengths and, what­ever they see in you, hold onto that and de­velop it fur­ther.

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